Sizewell prostestors cleared by court

Five people charged in connection with a protest at Sizewell B nuclear power station were yesterday acquitted in court on a legal technicality. Lowestoft Magistrates' Court had heard how a group of four women and one man had chained themselves together, blocking an approach road to workers, on July 24 last year.

Five people charged in connection with a protest at Sizewell B nuclear power station were yesterday acquitted in court on a legal technicality.

Lowestoft Magistrates' Court had heard how a group of four women and one man had chained themselves together, blocking an approach road to workers, on July 24 last year. The power station went into a full lock down as a result of the protestors' actions.

Melanie Harrison, 37, Peter Lux, 47, and 39-year-old Nicola Stickelles, all of Dunburgh Road, Geldeston, and Rebecca Dale, 35, of Rose Lane, Bungay, and Irene Willis, 64, of Tregaron, Wales, had all denied the obstruction/disruption of a person engaged in a lawful activity.

During the trial the defendants told the court they had staged the protest because they believed the power station was operating unlawfully by breaching licence conditions. They said their protest came after the leakage of radioactive water at the Sizewell A nuclear power station in 2007.


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Giving evidence, Ms Dale told the court: 'I believe that following on from the leak that there were serious breaches of the licensing conditions. I had no reason to believe they had been sorted out. I had reason to believe that they hadn't been.'

She said the purpose of the protest was: 'To try and shut down the nuclear power station that was operating unlawfully in my opinion.'

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But after listening to the evidence, district judge Tim Pattinson acquitted all five defendants and said prosecutors had not proved whether or not they had been on a highway or on private land, which was crucial to the 'aggravated trespass' case.

Speaking after the case on behalf of the protestors, Ms Harrison said: 'We are very relieved and very pleased.'

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